09 KTM 250 XC-W rear end

I have an 09 KTM 250 XCW that is in stock shape as far as suspension goes and it's time to do some fixin. I am 180lbs without gear (should be like 170 if the wife has her way but that is another story) and have the stock 69-250 rear spring. The bike is too harsh, I've been backing out the clickers to almost all the way out and it's getting better but I think the spring in the back it too light as I can't get my sag set right.

What is the next spring up and should I go with a progressive spring or a straight spring? Where can I buy the spring too?

I'm hoping to fix most of my problems without having to re-valve the rear end, maybe do the front later.

Thanks!!:smirk:

next spring rate is 72 (72-250)

your sag should be 33mm / 112mm

i usually recommend progressive spring for enduro riding with a large variety of different terrains and/or speed

So what progressive spring would your recomend? I ride 90% trails and 10% tracks.

Do gold valves help the front end out a lot?? Thinking about doing that too.

DO NOT USE A PROGRESSIVE SPRING ! You can't get the correct sag / preload set with one. I tried one myself and ended up going back to a straight rate. You want 37-40mm static sag. (33mm is for linkage suspension not PDS) . You want 115mm rider sag (+_2mm) . I like 114mm myself. Be sure your fork spring is correct or not. You want 40-45mm static sag and 75mm rider sag. Both ends must work together to get the bike to handle correctly. A straight rate spring with a 2-7mm preload works best. The spring will "FEEL" progressive because of the light preload. My suspension on my KTMs felt as good as any Honda suspension that I ever had. Be sure to increase your rebound one click per .2 kg increase in shock spring. Decrease compression the same. If you have HS damping back off almost completely.

DO NOT USE A PROGRESSIVE SPRING !

Dwight, as much as i respect you and your knowgledge, i do not agree with that.

depending on riding style and terrain I use progressive springs or straight rate springs, both with great success.

It's just a matter to choose the right spring, style-wise and rate-wise

I tried one myself and ended up going back to a straight rate.

what fits your needs and liking doesn't necessarily mean to be good for others as well

So what progressive spring would your recomend? I ride 90% trails and 10% tracks.

since it's 90% trails you have to focus on that.

If you're riding different terrains (very slow to fast) a progressive spring is what i'd recommend (PDS1 [70-90/250]).

If it's more or less always the same terrain and you don't switch from slow trial like riding to the 'fast-lane' a straight rate spring will do (72-250).

If the bike feels harsh it's rather a matter of the valving than the springs (assuming sag, fork alignement, bearings etc are ok)

The o9 bikes are known to be valved on the stiff side, so maybe you might talk it over with a tuner.

And balance (right springs) front and rear is very important as Dwight already mentioned!

Do gold valves help the front end out a lot??

i'm not so much of a friend of the GVs but don't want to give you a thumbs down on it.

Maybe someone will chime in who has pratical experience withe the GVs and the KTM

Hey newguy, good luck with the new bike.

I recently acquired a 2008 KTM 250 XCW. I also own a 2003 250 SX set up for the Rockies in Colorado. The 2003 suspenders are dialed in for me (55, 205 w/o gear, 6-3, 1t and 2t trail riding, no track or racing). You can email Jeff Slavens at slavensracing.com and he will give you a spring recommendation. For me, his recs were right on, 44s up front and a PDS8 in the rear. You won't find that combo on "spring generators" online. I sent my shock to him to rebuild/revalve and it is awesome. I did the forks myself with info acquired on KTMTalk. It took me a few tries, but I've got it balanced with the rear.

Now, the 2008 is another story. It is very harsh. Slavens recommends 44s up front and a PDS7 on the shock. He recommended the PDS7 and not the PDS8 because of the frame and suspension changes that year. He said I'd need a softer spring and softer valving. He had given me both progressive and straight rate spring recommendations. I emailed him back and asked which he preferred and he said "Progressive is better."

Further, I don't believe you will rid yourself of the bike's harshness with a spring change. These bikes need to be revalved. I will, once again, send the shock to Slavens ($229 for the revalve, $110 for the spring) because of the great work he does and his knowledge base (35 years doing suspenders, I believe), and I don't have nor do I wish to purchase all the equipment necessary to do the shock. The forks don't require the expensive tools. The KTM factory service manual CD breaks down dis-assembly very well.

I've noticed differences between the '03 and the '08. With the '03 I just revalved the base valve a few times and got it. With the '08, not so much. No matter how much I softened up the base valve, it was still too harsh. Moving very slowly, compliance was okay. But a square edge would cause deflection (handlebars moving up instead of the front wheel only). The guys over at KTMTalk told me I needed to build a midvalve (the valve inside the cartridge body). So I ordered some shims and restacked the midvalve, Increased the float to 1mm, and removed a delta shim from the rebound stack. It snowed last week so I'm at least another week or two away from trying it. If all of this sounds interesting/fun to you, then you might consider doing your forks as I did and sending the shock out. If not, a reputable tuner is worth their weight, IMO. I enjoy tinkering on my bike, so the journey to a perfect (for me) suspension is something I enjoy. For others it is hell.

I live in Western Colorado and chose Jeff Slavens based on his reputation, experience, and the fact that he rides in the same stuff I do. Check out his website or call him. Since you're in Cali (I'm originally from San Diego), I'm sure there's lots of tuners: Race Tech, Dick's Racing, Javier at Trail Tricks, etc. I think the most important thing is to be totally honest with the tuner you finally choose. I'm a Vet B rider, I'm told. I'm not that fast anymore and I don't do triples. I need compliance, but I don't need a baby buggy either. Square edged rocks, roots and "trail trash" (small bump compliance) can be a problem for my wrists and the rest of me for that matter. My 2003 is just perfect for me, but I'm still working on the 2008. I'm sure a good tuner could dial it in faster, but I'm enjoying the ride.

I'll check back here later to see if you have more questions. I can give you my shim stack info if you like. Good luck new guy, and happy trails!

-Jeff

I live about 15 minutes from Dick's Racing so maybe I'll give him a call and see what he thinks. I want to get the sag set correctly and play with it a little before I decide what I like / don't like so I think I'll start there. I guess I'll ask Dick what he thinks about the straight vs. progressive as well as it looks like a split on almost everything I read!

A good friend of mine can do the front forks for sure, although I still need to know what springs to get so I'll check into that as well.

I have an 09 KTM 250 XCW that is in stock shape as far as suspension goes and it's time to do some fixin. I am 180lbs without gear (should be like 170 if the wife has her way but that is another story) and have the stock 69-250 rear spring. The bike is too harsh, I've been backing out the clickers to almost all the way out and it's getting better but I think the spring in the back it too light as I can't get my sag set right.

What is the next spring up and should I go with a progressive spring or a straight spring? Where can I buy the spring too?

I'm hoping to fix most of my problems without having to re-valve the rear end, maybe do the front later.

Thanks!!:smirk:

When you say the suspension is too harsh, are you comparing it to your KLX? I guess this is obvious, but the KTM two-stroke is a different animal and it will probably never feel as plush as a KLX. That's not to say that having your suspension professionally set up isn't a good idea -- it is.

No, I guess I should get a new name! I havn't had that bike for years. I was on a YZ 450 and then got rid of that over a year ago when I got the KTM. I was just riding with some friends last week and they rode my bike and all 3 of them said it felt really harsh, which is what I was feeling too but thought "it's a KTM, it must be right" but we played with the clickers and got them way out and it started to hold better on the trail and also not kick my ass as much. I think it needs to be set up though.

Dwight, as much as i respect you and your knowgledge, i do not agree with that.

depending on riding style and terrain I use progressive springs or straight rate springs, both with great success.

It's just a matter to choose the right spring, style-wise and rate-wise

what fits your needs and liking doesn't necessarily mean to be good for others as well

I know what works for me and others who have listened to me. I did a lot of testing on the springs and found that to get a progressive spring to work at all you have to get about the heaviest one. With a progressive spring you have to add too much preload and the point is to get minimal preload so the spring can react quicker. You must get the sags set right with the correct spring and the shock will act like you have a linkage suspension. Those who have tested my shock / suspension setup were shocked at how well it worked. I found that Mike Lafferty was using a similar setup but didn't want anyone else to know. I only found out when I got to a Nat'l and found my shock leaking badly. He and Alan Randt loaned me his spare shock. I found that I only had to make minimal adjustments for me to use it. He did use a bit more compression damping but that was understandable being a faster and larger rider than myself. When I pointed out the simularities between our setups, he just smiled knowingly.

Run what you like but I am pointing out how I like mine and how I have helped others improve their suspensions. :smirk:

I know what works for me and others who have listened to me.

yep, (personal) experience is everything...

but, as said, i had pretty good experience with progressive springs so imho there's no reason to exclude using progressive springs categorical as you do.

But you have your experience and i have mine and that's fine.

if i get hands on a KTM with progr. springs i definitly will give it a try according to your recommendations. One never stops learning...

Run what you like

fortunately i don't ride Orange :smirk:

I bought a pds 6 from slavens Im 180 without gear 200 with My sag is 38 and 110 this is on 2011 250sx two stroke . this should somewhat answer questions on sag numbers dwight says are not obtainable . I feel they are . One thing though there are alot of springs on the market both slavens and mx tech both reccomended pds either 5 or 6 spring . with mx tech being the guru on ktms I went with their suggestion . I put .46 in front as well from DSP springs . I would say though if you can afford the extra dough get a titanium spring from DSP as the one from slavens was very heavy more so than the stock 6.9 spring .Oh the sag numbers are with gear the initial preload on the spring is about 3 to 4 mm It was right on the money as per what slaven suggested .Dwight perhaps you have not tried these springs they arent race tech or factory connection or any of the others Both jeremy and slavens order from europe these particular springs . I wouldved orderd from rich but they did not return my calls and jeremy was to far from me so shipping wouldve been to expensive .

fortunately i don't ride Orange

LOL :smirk:

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